Sunshine News

Sunshine Fest 2016…It’s a wrap!

The big day has come and gone. I would like to thank you all for participating in this year’s Sunshine Fest. It was, again, a wonderful day filled with fun and support for a wonderful organization. This year there were nearly 1,000 participants!

There were several award winners as well. Here’s the official list.

May I have a drumroll, please…..


Volunteer of the Year: Pam Henderson

            For volunteer service beyond the call of duty that has truly made a difference

More Sunshine Individual Award: Jan Bjork

            Person that best embodies a spirit and attitude of helping others with the greatest amount of Sunshine

Pam and Jan, award winners 2016

Pam & Jan with their awards


More Sunshine Team Award: AHS 6th Floor “Wizards of Gauze”

Team that embodies the greatest amount of Sunshine


Team Participants Award–Community Team: Surg-Proc Happy Campers

IMG_0095 DSC_0340

Team Participants Award–Corporate Team: Alerus Financial

Team Most Funds Raised Award–Corporate Team: Alerus Financial


Team Most Funds Raised Award–Community Team: Soaring Sunshine

Hidie Larson


DSC_0235The creativity and spirit of these teams, volunteers and participants did not disappoint! Thank you for your efforts in making the event fun and successful. There are many more terrific photos that can be viewed at . Thank you for joining me on the blog! Happy Spring to all and don’t forget to spread some Sunshine wherever you go!


Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog


Sunshine Fest is here!

3 MORE DAYS! I hope you’ve registered and are gearing up to attend Saturday morning. All the final details are coming together. There are a few things the organizers would like you to know as you head to join the fun. Pam Henderson shared some information with me. Please take note!

Sunshine Fest Refresh CLR (1) (1)

Sunshine Fest is this Saturday, and the forecast looks marvelous!

  • Doors open for participants at 9:00 a.m.  Please use the Northwest or Southwest entrance of the Ralph Englestad Arena (map below).
  • The main registration table, as well as the Team Check-In Table, will be located right inside the Southwest doors.
  • Runner registration will be in the East entrance by the Sioux Shop.
  • Vendors will be set up around the main concourse of the arena as part of the Health and Wellness Fair.  This includes various vendors from around the region talking about all areas of health and wellness for all ages!
  • Again this year we will have a Kidz Zone and Therapy Dogs.
  • Make sure to get your “Booth Passport” stamped in all four zones for your chance at winning some great prizes.
  • All participants will also be eligible for the door prizes.  We will be drawing names for prizes throughout the walk.


We will have some brief announcements beginning at 10:00 a.m., and then will be kicking off the 3K Indoor Walk with the Red River Drum Line at 10:15 AM.  This will be immediately followed by the 5K Outdoor Fun Run start at 10:30 AM, which will start just outside the East Entrance.


It’s not too late to get registered Walk-In registrations are also welcome. Help us fill the Ralph with some sunshine this weekend!  Event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon.


I look forward to seeing many smiling faces and people having fun, fun, fun!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog



Get registered!

January is flying by! As I type this post, the sun in shining through my windows. Sunshine Fest is coming up so quickly. January 30th will be here before we know it! I heard last week that all of the volunteers needs are filled. That is incredible! Thank you to all who are helping out and getting prepared for the best Sunshine Fest yet.


Now we just need to fill Ralph Engelstad Arena with even more smiling faces and maybe a few fun costumes too! You can register individually or get your team together. Head over to to get registered today.


Enjoy the sunshine today and the warm winter temperatures forecast this weekend…and get registered too!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog



Wellness Fair!

A wonderful part of Sunshine Fest is the Wellness Fair. Many organizations from our community come together to let everyone know what they are about. I loved walking by all of the tables last year. There are so many fantastic organizations providing information and services of all kinds. Here are a couple of pictures from previous Wellness Fairs. As you can see in the pictures you may even pick up swag!

safe kids 2015wellness fair swag

One of this year’s participants is The Cope Well Foundation.

The Cope Well Foundation is a local nonprofit organization located in Grand Forks, ND. Founded by a Grand Forks native, Ashley Rae, in 2011, Cope Well focuses on helping those who have been affected by cancer cope with the emotional challenges of cancer survivorship. Cope Well offers 3 main services, which include a Mentorship Program, an Activity Support Plan and a Counseling Program, all of which are free to those who want to get involved. For more information on how to get involved or how to help support our cause, please connect with Cope Well today by visiting their website at or call directly at 701.738.4897! Together we will ‘Cope Well to Live Well’, said founder Ashley Rae.

Wellness Fair 2015 - Ashley Rae

I’m looking forward to checking out the fair and I hope to see you there!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog


Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe its 2016. I also can’t believe Sunshine Fest is merely a few weeks away!

Our committees are working harder than ever. Sunshine Fest has a fantastic group of people organizing everything behind the scenes but now its your turn to join the action!

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at this year’s event.MED_3013

Cole and Tricia Reimann are helping to recruit and organize this year’s volunteers. They let me know that signing up to volunteer at Sunshine Fest 2016 is very easy, just go to to see all the different positions they need help with. Time slots are conveniently only 1.5 hours long so there is still time for you to enjoy the festivities of the day!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog


Last minute gift idea!

The holidays have arrived! I’ve been busy running errands, finding gifts and attending holiday recitals, shows and the like. I love this time of year. The snow (a white Christmas is a MUST in my book), the lights and holiday sounds fill the days. It all makes me so thankful.

I know many are facing different, perhaps difficult, circumstances this season. Let us all keep them in our minds and hearts in the coming days.

In case you haven’t quite finished that shopping I have a great idea! Raffle tickets for Sunshine Fest 2016 are on sale now! The prizes are fantastic too! Plus you’ll be supporting a wonderful cause and helping to make the Sunshine Hospitality Home a reality. Click HERE to find out where you can purchase a ticket!

2016 raffle ticket

There are amazing prizes for a $10 ticket!

  • Truyu | Exilis Elite Skin Tightening Package
  • Hugo’s | $700 Gift Card
  • L&M Meats | $500 Gift Card
  • Medora Package | Lodging, Musical, Pitch Fork Fondue and 2 rounds of Golf at Bully Pulpit
  • Dusterhoft Family Stores | $500 Gift Card

Happy, Happy Holidays to you all!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog


Meet Haley!

There are several new faces involved in the upcoming Sunshine Fest. I thought I’d introduce you to a few in the next few posts.

Meet Haley!

Q: How did you get involved with the Sunshine Memorial Foundation?

A: I got involved in theSunshine Memorial Foundation by applying for an internship experience last summer. I saw the description of what the internship would be like and I thought it would be something I would really enjoy! I interviewed with both Donovan and Jena and got offered the internship shortly later! It has been such a good experience and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity!


Q: What is your favorite part of working with the Foundation?Haley Steinwand Pic.

A: My favorite part about working at the Sunshine Memorial Foundation is working with all the people I have met through the experience. I walk in and know every day that I’m going to learn something new and it is going to benefit me and my future. Every day is different which also makes it fun! Keeps me on my toes!


Q: What are you most looking forward to at Sunshine Fest 2016?

A: I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sunshine Fest is going to come together. I have never been to the event before so it has been fun being a part of the planning process and putting everything together for the big day. I can’t wait to see how it turns out and everyone there celebrating such an amazing event for an amazing cause!

I can attest to the fact that Haley is wonderful to work with. I have been bothering her on a regular basis for information, pictures, ideas, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole event come together as well! Don’t forget registration is currently up and running at and if you haven’t already, find (and BUY!) some raffle tickets. You won’t be sorry you supported a great cause!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog

Don’t wait, hydrate!

I’m always trying to incorporate more healthy lifestyle tips into my everyday life. One thing that I’ve really improved upon in the last year or so is drinking water. It seems like such an easy concept but in reality I have to remind myself and sometimes trick myself into getting those ounces down each day!

Tritan_DRAFTThe Sunshine Memorial Foundation supports and will continue to support several projects related to hydration and hiker awareness educational programs. Hydration has always been, and will always be, central to the Foundation’s mission and the
effect it has on our lives. The Sunshine Memorial Foundation supports hydration initiatives such as the “Don’t Wait, Hydrate” program from Safe Kids Grand Forks. Dehydration is something that can be prevented. Education and awareness can help save lives. The Foundation also plans to sponsor programs and provide trail head signs dedicated to help educate hikers about all safety measures.

So, as we enter the winter season, please remember to drink your water and hydrate, always! Something that’s so simple sounding can really save your life!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog

A shining ray of sunshine…

As I have been thinking and planning for upcoming blogs, my thoughts inevitably return to the reason it all began.

Shannon “Sunshine” Larson died September 8, 2007, in Mesa, Arizona, of natural causes related to heat exhaustion, while hiking in Usery Mountain Park.  Shannon was 31 years old and just beginning a new chapter in her life.

Shannon had recently moved to the Phoenix area with her fiancé and although she had done extensive hiking previously, she was unaware of the effects of the intense heat and the subsequent large quantities of water necessary under these circumstances.  Perhaps her death could have been avoided if information had been available to her about the dangers of dehydration and heat Shannon_ORIGstroke.

Shannon was born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the daughter of Van and Dee Larson.  There,  she attended elementary and high school and graduated from the University of North Dakota.  Following graduation, she was employed for two years at Ecolab in Grand Forks.  In the fall of 2006, she moved to Kazakhstan, where she taught Business English, tutored students in English usage, was a member of an International Hiking Club where she participated in philanthropic activities.  Also while there, she and her fiancé, Matt Morrison, traveled extensively, including several weeks in Indonesia.

Shannon had a passion for living life to its fullest and was a shining ray of sunshine….  Spending time with family and friends and traveling were her main interests.  Her winning smile, compassionate and helping nature, generosity, and sense of humor, touched the lives of all those around her.  Whether you had a long-term friendship or just met Shannon, she had such a charm and genuineness about her that she seemed to captivate you, and would always connect with a wink and a smile!

Her family has created the Sunshine Memorial Foundation to honor her memory and help others just as she did. The Foundation is currently raising funds to build the Sunshine Hospitality Home which will help so many. It will provide a place to stay for those in Grand Forks for medical treatments and appointments of many kinds. It will most definitely be a place that brings sunshine to many in difficult circumstances. Proceeds from the upcoming Sunshine Fest will benefit the Home.

We could all use a little more sunshine in our days. My challenge to you is to bring an extra dose of sunshine to someone else’s life this week, friend or stranger. I just might buy a few extra cups of coffee for others this week!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog

Happy Halloween!

I can’t believe it’s the end of October already. Where does the time go? My girls are gearing up for trick-or-treating, costumes and makeup. As you’re preparing for the festivities of this upcoming weekend keep in mind another occasion at which you could use those wonderful costumes. We LOVE to see Sunshine Fest teams dressed in fabulous costumes. Here are a few pictures from past  Sunshine Fests to inspire you!




Enjoy the holiday ahead and remember to turn your clock back!

Until then,

Stacy Signature for blog

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